Click here to buy the Roberts Revival iStream 2
You can't beat a good-quality radio and the name Roberts is synonymous with just that. But the Roberts Revival iStream 2 is not just any old radio. Oh no, it's so much more. It's also a DAB/FM and Wifi Smart Radio with Music Player and Spotify Connect. So, there's a whole bunch of other ways to enjoy music at your fingertips rather than just listening to whatever's being broadcast on the radio at any given time.
Let's start with its appearance; this is a classy-looking bit of kit. It comes in a range of colours to suit your home or your mood and has a great look that is both retro and modern at the same time. Beat that. It has smart dials and push buttons, an LCD on the top panel, a carry handle, gold-plated clips and buttons, a leather-look covering, is about the size of a small handbag and comes in Pastel Cream, Dove Grey, Duck Egg, or Black.
If you're the sort of person who just likes to switch on the radio and choose from the FM range of stations available, then you'll be guaranteed excellent clarity and reliable reception. The Radio 2 Breakfast Show will never sound so good. But to be honest, you'll be missing out as with the Roberts Revival iStream 2 (ou can actually choose from more than 10,000 radio stations across the world when connected to the internet.
If you prefer to connect your Spotify playlists and blast out your chosen songs, listen to downloaded podcasts, play music stored on a USB memory device or browse the internet for something a little different, then you'll love the iStream2. The variety of options is staggering, meaning this is no standard radio, it's a music player of every description AND it's an alarm clock too (there are two alarm timers with snooze features) so you can wake to your favourite tunes. There's also a headphone jack for when you want to indulge in some private listening.
Obviously if you're going to listen to internet radio you need to connect the iStream 2 to the internet and the instructions for doing so are quite comprehensive. I found it a little difficult at first but if you sit next to your router and follow the instructions to the letter, you will be rewarded with a Wifi connection. Obviously you need a secure internet connection and you also need to know your password if yours is security protected (most networks are these days).
Speaking of the instructions, don't be put off by the size of the manual; it's actually split into sections to make it as easy as possible for you to use all the functions (internet radio/DAB radio/clock and alarms/Spotify connect, etc) so just take it one step at a time and only read the sections that you know you are going to use. You don't have to connect to the internet to listen to Ken Bruce's Pop Master quiz or Good Morning Sunday with the Rev Kate Bottley.... There are also helpful illustrations showing all the controls and functions so you really can't go wrong.
If you prefer the work to be done for you, there are preset stations so you don't have to trawl through terrible static to tune in all your fave stations.
The radio comes supplied with a mains AC adaptor but it can also run on batteries too, handy if you want to take it out with you on a picnic, on holiday or if you're just gardening at the bottom of the garden.
It's easy to navigate once you get into the swing of it and it has a crystal clear sound - I didn't even have to extend the aerial.
The sound on the radio can be adjusted to suit your taste and there are a range of equaliser modes if you really want to hone your listening experience and you like to experiment with treble and bass. You can even customise these settings so they remember them next time you want to listen. The brightness can be controlled so it's not lighting up an entire room (handy if it's in your bedroom) and the contrast can be adjusted too.
Roberts Radios have been produced for more than 80 years so it's good to know you're getting a solid model with a bit of a history. It's not cheap at £220 and if you prefer a more plug-and-play radio, you'd probably be better off opting for one of their more basic, cheaper models. But for a complete listening experience, and the fact you'll get Brownie points from older children or grandchildren when you tell them they can play their Spotify playlists through it, the Roberts Revival iStream2 is a great modern radio with a retro look.